LaGRANGE — Bobbie Cutwright stood outside her Revis Street home on Wednesday, surveying the scene as she leaned against an aluminum ladder with her forearms resting on a rung.
Patches of morning sunlight shown through the dense trees that crowd the edges of her property, landing on a fresh coat of white paint adorning her 116-year-old home.
“It makes a 100 percent difference,” she said, smiling faintly, as she watched a team of volunteers from InterfaceFLOR brush crisp white paint across the clapboard siding. “I think it’s great, and they’re doing a great job.”
Cutwright’s was one of 17 homes chosen for the 11th annual Paint The Town event, which uses “both volunteer efforts and monetary donations to beautify the community, and helps homeowners proudly display their freshly painted homes,” said Laura Breyfogle, the event’s organizer.
The affordable housing nonprofit DASH for LaGrange heads up the annual event, which was founded by late board member and LaGrange City Councilman Frank Cox. To be eligible for service, residents must own their home, have lived in it for three or more years and earn less than 80 percent of Troup County’s median income — a maximum of $29,050 for a single person or $41,500 for a family of four, according to Breyfogle.
Nearly 400 people divided into 14 teams scattered across LaGrange to spruce up homes in need of a facelift. DASH for LaGrange may have organized the teams, but it was a love for the community that brought them together, said Andy Porter, an InterfaceFLOR designer who coordinated his team at Cutwright’s house.
“I enjoy getting out in the community, being a smiling face and getting to meet people here,” Porter said as he applied a coat of hunter green paint to the home’s trim. “One thing Ray Anderson (Interface’s founder) always asked was, ‘What kind of legacy are you going to leave?’ I try to make sure mine’s positive.”
Porter and his team of 27 volunteers clearly left a positive impression on Cutwright — not only painting her home, but mending siding, recaulking windows and repairing a crawl space door where Cutwright keeps her gardening tools.
“They did fix my door,” Cutwright said. “It was gone. This is going to make it easier to get in and out of, and it will keep the critters out.”
The InterfaceFLOR crew took shifts working on the home, with about six at a time rotating in and out over three days.
Not far from Porter, Cathy Boykin, a forklift driver at InterfaceFLOR, took a break from painting and walked over to the bed of a pickup truck where a glass beverage dispenser sat filled with water and sliced lemons.
“This is my second year volunteering,” she said as she pressed the spigot to fill her cup. “I just felt like helping the community, putting something back into it. Interface is so supportive of Troup County, I just felt like I needed to put my time and effort back into it.”
Serving her community feels good, Boykin said, but she also enjoyed the company of her co-workers as they bonded.
“I’ve enjoyed being with my co-workers and just laughing and talking, getting a little paint on,” she said. “I’m just thankful to be here, and glad to help out in the community. I’m ready for next year.”
This year’s Paint The Town sponsors include DASH for LaGrange, CharterBank, American Home Shield, West Georgia Oral Surgery Associates, First Baptist Church on Fannin Street, Annie and Oliver Greene and Home Depot.
Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.